Pianist, Composer, Bandleader, Vocalist

“. . . the sound is all Swiggett’s: refined and confident, open and inviting.”
     – All About Jazz

Pianist, Composer, Bandleader, Vocalist


Jazz pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett has been active on Seattle’s music scene since the early 90’s. As a bandleader, she’s headlined at many of the Northwest’s top jazz venues, including the Seattle Jazz Fellowship, Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Bumbershoot, the Bellevue Jazz Festival, and the Earshot Jazz Festival. Nelda is an award-winning composer and OA2 recording artist. Her five album releases have received rave reviews and extensive airplay around the globe.  Nelda’s big band arrangements of her original music have been performed by Seattle’s nationally recognized Garfield High School Jazz Band, the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, and others. Nelda is also in demand as a solo pianist, side woman and jazz educator.

Upcoming shows

Wednesday, July 31.  Crowdsource Choir with Joel DeJong. Georgetown Steam Plant. 8 – 9:30 pm. 6605 13th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108.

Saturday, August 15: Spotlight on the Waterfront. Seattle Waterfront Park. 6 – 8 pm. Latin band with Alma Villegas (vocalist).

Wednesday, August 21. Roadside Attraction Big Band. Aurora Borealis. 16708 Aurora Avenue North. 7:30 – 9:30 PM.

Saturday, August 24. Pfingst Animal Acres Park. Alma Villegas Latin Band. 5 – 6:30 pm. 17435 Brookside Blvd NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155.

Friday, August 30The Tasting Room. 7 – 10 PM. Clif & Nelda’s little BIG Band with Nelda on piano/vocals and Clif Swiggett on trombone/percussion.  1924 Post Alley, Pike Place Market, Seattle. (206) 770-9463. 

“Swiggett has a unique touch…intensely appealing pianism…a voice with a depth similar to that of Abbey Lincoln…”  
– Lofton A Emenari, WHPK 88.5 FM, Chicago

“…a stunning project…held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.”
– JazzTimes

“… a bright palette, a sinewy execution and a powerful, assertive command… the sound is all Swiggett’s: refined and confident, open and inviting.”
– All About Jazz

“Jessica Jennifer Williams comes to mind…we are in that territory.” 
–  Wondering Sound Reviews

“Swiggett’s vocal delivery is satisfyingly to-the-point, and behaves only as one ingredient, equal to all others…”
– Midwest Record

“Her music is precise without being dry, clean without being dull, and light without being fluff. The sound is as clear, direct and crisp as the gaze of her piercing blue eyes.”
– Earshot Magazine

“Seattle based pianist Nelda Swiggett has a bright smooth swinging quality to her mainstream approach and a minimalist almost bare knuckles attitude. Her key strokes are bold and assertive, as if she knows exactly the direction of her music.”
– All Music Guide

videos & photos

David Lange Studios

"The Swigtones" family band
Earshot Jazz Festival
Seattle Jazz Fellowship

Seattle Jazz Vespers

The Royal Room


Nelda teaches private jazz piano lessons in Seattle and on Zoom. She also coaches student jazz combos at Seattle’s Jazz Night School, and is available for clinics, workshops and adjudications.